We are all familiar with travel rewards credit cards, but there are also reward programs offered by hotels themselves. If you are going to have to stay in a hotel, why not earn rewards for doing so? Recently I joined Choice Privileges.
Where Points Are Earned
Choice Privileges rewards are accrued at 10 points per dollar spent at Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Ascend Collection and Cambria Suites hotel. Choice Privileges are accrued at 5 points per dollar spent at MainStay Suites, Suburban Extended Stay, Econo Lodge and Rodeway Inn hotels.
Qualifying hotels are found in the U.S. including Hawaii, Canada, Caribbean/Mexico, Central/South America, Europe, Asia & Pacific.
Signing up for Choice Privileges can be done in less than five minutes. You are required to give basic information such as your name, address, and e-mail address. You can optionally give more information such as your birthday, phone number and credit card information.
Levels of Membership
If you frequently travel, you could qualify for one of the Elite membership levels: Gold, Platinum and Diamond.
-Gold membership is earned after you have spent 10 nights at qualifying hotels within one calendar year. For each dollar spent, you earn 10% bonus points, can book your reservations up to 40 days in advance for reward nights and are eligible for Elite member offers, in addition to other perks.
-Platinum membership is earned after 25 nights spent at qualifying hotels within one calendar year. For each dollar spent, you earn 25% bonus points, can book your reservations up to 60 days in advance for reward nights and are eligible for Elite member offers, in addition to other perks.
-Diamond membership is earned after 40 nights spent at qualifying hotels within one calendar year. For each dollar spent, you earn 40% bonus points, can book your reservations up to 90 days in advance for reward nights and are eligible for Elite member offers, complimentary room upgrade and 24/7 travel concierge service worldwide, in addition to other perks.
Additional Ways to Earn Points
In addition to hotel stays, you can earn points a variety of other ways, including the following:
-Use the Choice Privileges Visa Platinum card and earn 15 points per dollar spent at qualifying hotels. In addition, earn 8,000 points after making initial purchase.
-Refer a friend and receive 500 bonus points after the friend completes their first stay.
-Shop at Choice Privileges Mall online and earn anywhere from 4 points per dollar spent at Babies R Us to as many as 20 points per dollar spent at Heels.com.
-Activate your satellite or sign up for wireless phone service through major providers such as AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Dish Network among others and earn 5,000 points.
Ways to Redeem Points
-Reward nights at qualifying hotels range from 6,000 to 8,000 points for less upscale hotels to 10,000 to 40,000 for more upscale hotels. (Reward nights at Hawaii properties are 25,000 to 35,000 points.)
-Rewards for 1,000 to 5,000 airline miles are 5,000 to 30,000 points. (Choice Privileges partners with American Airlines AAdvantage, Delta Skymiles, Southwest.com Rapid Rewards, United Mileage Plus, and U.S. Airways Dividend Miles, among others)
Tale a look at some of The Best Airline Miles Credit Cards.
-Gift cards. Earn a $50 gift card to popular chain restaurants such as Darden restaurants, Chili’s, Applebee’s etc. for 16,000 points. Similarly, you can earn a $50 gas card for 16,000 points.
-Rewards for 5,000 to 10,000 Amtrak Guest Rewards points are 32,000 to 64,000 Choice Privilege points.
A business person who travels frequently could earn quite a few points quickly with this program. A family travelling for one week a year may have a more difficult time earning enough points to redeem for a worthwhile reward unless they are staying at a fairly expensive hotel. All points must be redeemed by December 31 of the second calendar year after they were earned, so if you earned points on April 8, 2011, you must redeem them by December 31, 2012.